Nick Denton Talks to David Remnick About Gawker

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As the founder of the Web site Gawker, Nick Denton brought a British-tabloid combination of scandal and sharp commentary to the Internet, and it went big. “When in doubt, put it out,” was the site’s publishing mantra, Denton tells David Remnick. But, after years of antagonizing C.E.O.s and celebrities alike, Gawker went too far. After running a sex tape of Hulk Hogan, the company ended up in court, and a one-hundred-and-forty-million-dollar judgment left it in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It soon emerged that the venture capitalist Peter Thiel, whom the blog once publicly outed as gay, had bankrolled the lawsuit. Denton is unapologetic about outing public figures—being gay, he says, is not a shameful secret that journalists are obliged to keep—but he admits that the Gawker trial did contain a certain “karmic justice.”